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Do institutions matter? Explaining the use of working time flexibility arrangements of companies across 21 European countries using a multilevel model focusing on country level determinants

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  • Chung, Heejung
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    This paper explores the reasons behind the differences in the use and provision of different types of working time flexibility options of companies across European labour markets with a special focus on the country differences. Competing theories on the cross-country variances of labour market flexibility are tested to examine whether labour market institutions are the driving forces of working time flexibility practices in comparison to other factors such as economic, labour market structures and cycles. It uses a multi-level model which enables examination of companies in the context of the country in which it is embedded, while including both company and country level characteristics in the explanatory model. In this paper, the issue of flexibility is addressed broadly, thus, it perceives labour market flexibility as a method used for the needs of employees as well as for those of employers. In addition, the 'flexible firm' approach is taken and various flexibility options are considered to be bundles of arrangements with similar latent characteristics and not as separate entities. Based on this, the paper explains the differences between countries where there are more worker-oriented working time flexibility options to those where flexibility practices are more companyoriented.

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment with number SP I 2008-107.

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    Date of creation: 2008
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzblpe:spi2008107
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    1. repec:aia:aiaswp:wp56 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    3. Juan J Dolado & Carlos Garcia--Serrano & Juan F. Jimeno, 2002. "Drawing Lessons From The Boom Of Temporary Jobs In Spain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(721), pages 270-295, June.
    4. Brewster, Chris & Mayne, Lesley & Tregaskis, Olga, 1997. "Flexible working in Europe," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 133-151, July.
    5. repec:ilo:esbook:ebook7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bernhard Ebbinghaus & Jelle Visser, 1998. "When Institutions Matter: Union Growth and Decline in Western Europe, 1950-95," MZES Working Papers 30, MZES.
    7. Dominique Anxo & Colette Fagan & Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Corinne Perraudin & Mark Smith, 2007. "Parental leave in European Companies: Establishment Survey on Working Time 2004-2005," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00271661, HAL.
    8. Dominique Anxo & Colette Fagan & Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Corinne Perraudin & Mark Smith, 2007. "Part-time work in European Companies: Establishment Survey on Working Time 2004-2005," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00271662, HAL.
    9. Horrell, Sara & Rubery, Jill, 1991. "Gender and Working Time: An Analysis of Employers' Working-Time Policies," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(4), pages 373-391, December.
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